The following is an actual call I received when I was doing my hellish stint on the Michaels Help Desk last year. The call came in from Tony, a manager at Aaron Brothers Framing who was, as it turns out, dumber than a sack of George W. Bushes.
Me: What's the problem, Tony?
Tony: My computer's all locked up and I've been calling all day but nobody will help me.
Me: I'm not showing any other calls from you today, Tony. Do you remember who you talked to?
Tony: Well, I got tired of being on hold so I hung up.
Me: Okay, gotcha. So when you say your computer is all locked up...
Tony: Yeah, the mouse and stuff won't work. It's on this blue screen.
Me: Ah. Like a fatal error screen?
Me: Is there a message on the screen?
Me: Okay, Tony. What does the message say?
Tony: Um... it says "Press Central Alt Del to sign in."
Me: All right. Now we're getting somewhere.
Tony: It's been locked up like this all day. I tried turning it off and on, but it keeps coming up to this screen.
Me: Right. Okay, Tony. Do you see the Control key?
Me: The Control key. It says C-T-R-L and should be on the lower left corner of your keyboard.
Tony: What was it?
Me: C-T-R-L. Lower left corner.
Tony: The Central key?
Me: Sure. Why not. Did you find it?
Tony: Yeah, but it's not doing anything.
Me: Hang on a second, Tony. Now I need you to find the Alt key. Should be two keys over from the... um... Central key.
Tony: Okay. I'm pushing it.
Me: Hold on, Tony. Not yet. Now I need you to find the Delete key. D-E-L. Should be over by the number keys.
Tony: I pushed that Alt key but nothing happened.
Me: I know, Tony. Did you find the Delete key?
Tony: Um... no, I... wait, here it is.
Me: Okay, good. Now listen carefully. I need you to push the Control key, the Alt key...
Tony: The what?
Me: The *Central* key, okay? I need you to push it, the Alt key, and the Delete key all at the same time.
Tony: Same time?
Me: Yes sir.
Me: Still locked up?
Tony: It's still locked up on a blue screen.
Me: Is it asking you for a user name and a password now?
Tony: A what?
Me: A user name and a password. There should be a box asking you for a user name and a password.
Tony: Oh, yeah. There it is.
Me: Okay, good. In the box that says user name, you're going to type "aabrothers". All in lowercase letters.
Tony: It says my password is incorrect.
Me: That's because we didn't enter one yet, Tony. In the box that says password, you need to type "abros123".
Me: Lowercase a-b-r-o...
Tony: It's locked up.
Me: What does it say?
Tony: My password is incorrect.
Me: Okay, Tony. Click on OK to make that message go away.
Tony: The mouse isn't working.
Me: Are you sure?
Me: Tony, are you still there?
Tony: Okay, it's working now.
Me: You're signed in?
Tony: No, I mean the mouse. It's working now.
Me: All right. Now don't hit Enter or anything until I tell you, okay?
Me: In the box that says user name, type "aabrothers". All one word, all in lower case. Tell me when you're done.
Tony: Okay, done.
Me: Okay, now click in the box that says password.
Me: Now type lowercase a-b-r-o-s and the numbers 1,2, and 3. All one word.
Me: Now click OK.
Me: Anything happen, Tony?
Me: Tony? Anything happening?
Tony: Yeah. It's not locked up anymore.
Me: Well, good.
Tony: Thanks, my friend!
Me: Any time, Tony.
After I wrapped up the call and entered the ticket in excrutiating detail so that Tony's retardation would be a matter of public record, I figured the matter was closed. But the next day, I picked up another call from the same store. It was Tony again.
Me: Hey there, Tony. What's the problem?
Tony: Yeah. My computer's been locked up since yesterday. I've been calling but nobody will help me.
Me: I talked to you yesterday, Tony. Remember? Walked you through logging in?
Tony: Oh, yeah. Um, how do I do that again?
Some nights I still wake up screaming...